After several days of teasers, I was anxious to read today about the Obama Administration’s decision on offshore oil/gas drilling. With the huge oil discoveries that have been made off the coast of Brazil and even in the Gulf of Mexico, I am hopeful that a loosening of offshore drilling policy might spur some increase in domestic oil production, and help the U.S. economy. The announcement can be found at the White House. While I think the move is a good step, it leaves some things to be desired. For one thing, there is only a small areas that is being opened up to drilling. California and several oil-rich sections of the Alaskan coasts as well as the Northeast coast will remain off-limits. So the good news is that folks can drill outside of Virginia and Southern states, and in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Of course, drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is nothing new. The Wall Street Journal reported today that the new areas “may hold between 39 billion and 63 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 168 trillion to 294 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas.” The U.S. typically consumes around 20 million barrels of oil a day and about 23 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. This is only a good first step. It will take years for some of the leases to actually take effect. And some areas may not come online until 2017. I’d like to see a more aggressive push towards offshore drilling. I know lots of critics will assert that we’re relying on dirty energy and drilling for more oil puts the oceans and environment at risk. We can’t jump to renewables overnight. While the nation is on the path to sourcing more of energy consumption to renewables, the domestic sources of oil and gas can spur financial capital for additional R&D into renewable energy, as well as help reduce the price of energy, and thus provide a little relief to the economy.